Faith In Strangers
Andy Stott’s back catalog is a grey-to-black spectrum. Despite his astute imaginative smudgy dub knack, he cunningly avoids extremes. He seeks solace in the dreariest of corners. The fruit of Stott’s experimentations has no scent of experimentation left at its core. His soundscapes work like calculated packages of laconic post-mayhem. He does not need to elaborate on his methods using distortion and noise. He instead pushes a few but pivotal keynotes.
Faith In Strangers, Stott’s fourth studio album, is mellowed down with female delicacy. The textures are tactful and soft-edged. The threatening loops of Luxury Problems are replaced by a former piano teacher Alison Skidmore.
“Violence” is a mature drip of naked synths and concealed anger. It’s the ill-defined calm after an eradicating storm. Skidmore’s deceiving whispers are the catalyst to your confusion. You are unsure whether you are safe because you are isolated or because there is no hope left on the horizon to cling to. Halfway through the song, there is a silent uprising of consciousness that is stifled into relapse like the ending scene of Donnie Darko but without the emotional coda that “Mad World” brings.